Local pit bull owners support bill dropping 'vicious' label

Lawmakers who don't know Zoey, a 1-year-old pocket pit bull, have unfairly labeled her as a terror and a threat.
Andy Ouriel
Feb 10, 2012

Lawmakers who don’t know Zoey, a 1-year-old pocket pit bull, have unfairly labeled her as a terror and a threat.

Pit bulls are the only dog breed in Ohio considered vicious upon birth. State law defines a vicious dog as dogs with the ability to seriously hurt or kill another dog or human.

A vicious label means pit bull owners must take special precautions in owning one. This includes keeping pit bulls on a 6-foot, chain-linked leash while outside and purchasing liability insurance in case the dog attacks someone.

The label, however, could soon vanish.

House Bill 14, which awaits Gov. John Kasich’s approval, aims to:
• Remove the reference of calling pit bulls “vicious.”
• Create three labels to classify all dogs, which would be assessed to them based on an individualpooch’s past behavior.

A county’s dog warden or a judge would determine how hazardous a particular dog — from a basset hound to a sheltie — really is by using evidence such as biting history to classify the dog.

Police dogs are exempt from being classified as dangerous, vicious or a nuisance.

Today, no such ranking system exists.

Other than pit bulls, no legal recourse exists to punish a dog owner if the animal bites or attacks a person, said Jean Keating, president for the Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates organization. Keating helped author the bill.

If a pit bull is running loose, for instance, the dog warden or police will charge someone with a misdemeanor. If any other dog does something similar, the owner receives a minor misdemeanor, a lesser charge.

If a pit bull bites or tries to attack someone, they could be put down because of the breed’s vicious label.

No other dog breed would face such a harsh, unfair penalty, said Keating, who owns two pit bulls herself.

“If you get bitten by a dog, and it’s not a pit bull, there is nothing you can do about it,” she said. “Instead of confiscating and killing pit bulls, now we can identify a specific dog as a problem before it hurts someone.”

Read more on this story and about how one local family feels about the bill in Friday's Register.

Comments

patriot5
Buttermaker, one of the worst dogs I have ever been around was an Australian Shepherd, though no fault of its own. Owners thought it was cute and kept it in an apartment, never exercised it and wondered why it was spastic. Also know many with their Cockers, and they will lash out in a heartbeat.   Think again, beautiful picture now show us some of the kids who crack their skulls from falling off bikes, the ones that drown, die in fires because parents are too lazy to clean dryer vents, car wrecks, playground.  3o dog bite fatalities a year verses how many more injury/death for the above? Want me to post some for you?   Oh pundit, seems like an ant-establishment guy. He thinks you have the right to blow a big fattie on the way to work, and your employer doesn’t have the right to drug test you, but thinks you have no right to own a pit. I would trust my kids to the Akitas before trusting them to some dope smokin’ worthless hippy.   Ohh looky, my AK is so much more evil and deadlier than my 22lr bolt action; idiots
buttermaker

So very true patriot5. Unfortunately, most on here will not get what you are talking about. A shame they actually get to vote.

thinkagain

Patriot5 – Post all the pics you like, it won’t deflect from the issue at hand.  According to your convoluted logic, because a child falls off a bike and cracks his head, it is acceptable to not err on the side of caution and allow children to be savaged by pit bulls.  As the responsible owner of a wolf hybrid, I acknowledge fully the increased potential for harm to others by owning this animal.  Why is it so difficult for you?

kURTje

Why I'm fortunate to be from the farm & still live in the country.        Responsible dog owners know that: by law if your dog is on  my property & bothering my livestock I can kill it. Also trash that tried to steal quickly got owned.......don't need no stinkin alarm.     My beasts stay at home....as well they should. Un-oh.....ban cattle,         My neighbors got loose & almost caused an accident on the roadway......he could have got in trouble also.    Punish bad owners          not the breed.

LovesAllDogs

Actually, my question regarding pit bulls getting such a bad rap is a link to an article by Cesar Millan stating exactly WHY it has come to be, over time, the breed is unnecessarily feared by many today. Sorry it isn't showing up as a hyperlink; just click on it for the article.

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